Restaurant Review: El Bolillo Bakery

The moment you walk through the door of the bakery, you are enveloped in an aroma of fresh baked bread and sugary sweets. It’s one experience that feels special every time without fail. There is something about a bakery, whether it’s the atmosphere, the friendly people, the wonderful smell, or just the expectation of sweets, that can shine some light on even the darkest day. Since 1998 El Bolillo Bakery has been bringing this light into people’s lives by selling hundreds of fresh, traditional Latin pastries and breads each day. Their dazzling displays of tasty treats has earned them awards, such as “The Official Best Bakery in Texas – 2011,” and even ten years later, they are still doing it right!

Experience & Ambience

The first thing you will likely notice as you walk in is the bustling crowd of people all circling a counter at the center of the store. Before you get carried away looking at all the choices, grab some tongs and a serving tray to collect all your top picks! It’s difficult to find a time where the store is empty, and it’s easy to see why. Along the walls stretching from corner to corner are display cases filled with all manner of baked delights. For the most part their daily inventory consists of sweet breads, cookies, and cakes, although there is a separate counter of savory breads, including their trademark bolillos. Just load up your tray with whatever strikes your fancy and check out with one of the cashiers at the center counter.

Prices & Rating

As far as prices go, they are extremely affordable! Pastries are typically priced around $1 and you can get a freshly made bolillo that will linger in your dreams for even less than that. On the other side of the store, you can also pick up a half dozen tamales for only $9, or if you are looking for a cake to have at your next celebration, an 8 inch tres leches is about $40. These cakes are always a huge crowd pleaser, but if you ask me, the best part of this bakery is walking out with a whole platter of freshly baked treats for less than $15. For providing this experience at such low prices, I cannot help but to give them my recommendation. If you have yet to try this Heights staple, you will not be disappointed!

What To Order?

It is impossible not to start the list with the bakery’s trademark bolillos, as they are an absolute must-try. These Mexican style dinner rolls possess a super light and fluffy interior, surrounded by a crisp outer crust. The texture and flavor is very similar to a French baguette, making them easy to pair with other dishes, or to use for a torta. They also serve a smaller version (Bolillitos con queso) that comes stuffed with jalapenos, cheese, and sometimes chorizo.

These hand-made pies are a popular option to get from the bakery. They are made with a tender pastry dough surrounding one of a few different types of filling. The options usually include pineapple, cream cheese, pumpkin, sweet potato, or caramel, with the occasional seasonal flavor as well.

These colorful, visually pleasing buns are unmistakable. They are made of a soft, sweet bread that is often accented with cinnamon, then coated in a crunchy cookie-like topping that comes in all sorts of colors from yellow to pink. At the bakery, they also make a tasty jam filled variation!

Ojos de Buey
These unique looking pastries, resembling the eyes of a bull, consist of a soft and airy center, similar to angel food cake that is wrapped in layers of crispy pastry dough. They are sweet, buttery, and will melt in your mouth.

This spherical dessert got its name for its resemblance to classic yoyo toys. It consists of two halves of dense, buttery cake that are bound together with buttercream icing or jam to make a more spherical, yoyo-like shape. Another friendly customer at the bakery recommended these, saying that they are just like the ones his grandmother would make. They have two variations: one coated in icing and the other with jam, before being rolled in shredded coconut.

Niños Envueltos
This is another visually stunning dessert made from sponge cake that has been rolled and sliced into spiraled slices. They come in a few variations using either pineapple jam, strawberry jam, or Mexican caramel to bind the rolled cake before coating it in either shredded coconut or chopped pecans.

Tres Leches
In addition to all the smaller cakes and pastries, they also make full sized custom cakes, cheese cakes, and flan. Their tres leches cake is a personal favorite, decorated with whipped cream frosting, strawberries and tempered chocolate, making a cake that is a quite beautiful addition to any party.

Honorable Mentions
There are many great options, far too many to detail in just one article. In addition to everything mentioned thus far, they also carry hand-made tamales and tortillas, churros, donuts, cake pops, and countless cookies. There is something for everyone at El Bolillo, making it truly a one stop shop bakery.

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